Saturday, November 3, 2007

We need Karl von Clausewitz or Dashiell Hammett

"The Bush Administration's most serious concession is forthcoming, in which the U.S. will accept, with little or no concrete verification, Pyongyang's imminent declaration that it actually has very little nuclear activity other than what we have long known about at Yongbyon. ... Condoleezza Rice, and other partisans of the six-party talks respond to all internal adminstration complaints or criticisms by asking, 'what is your alternative? What would you have us do otherwise, risk war on the Penninsula?' ... The State Department's lust to remove North Korea from the terrorism list is having a profoundly negative impact on our treaty ally, Japan", John Bolton in the WSJ, 31 October.

Absent the credible threat of war, we have no foreign policy, Carl von Clausewitz wrote in On War, 1832, "War is the mere continuation of policy by other means". Rice should resign. She is hopeless. But wait a minute, Rice has a PhD. In political science, no less and was a Stanford professor. So? Strongarming our "allies" like Turkey and Israel to score points with the Kurds and Palestinians is Connie Baby's idea of foreign policy.

Can we resurrect Dashiell Hammett to be Secretary of State? As Humphrey Bogart (HB) said to Sidney Greenstreet (SG) in "The Maltese Falcon", 1941, my favorite movie, "If you kill me, how are you gonna get the bird? And I if know you can't afford to kill me, how are you gonna scare me into giving it to you?" SG, "Well sir, there are other means of persuasion besides killing and threatening to kill". HB, "Yes, that's true. But-they're none of 'em any good unless the threat of death is behind them-do you see what I mean? If you start something, I'll make it a matter of your having to kill me or call it off". Connie Baby, please see "The Maltese Falcon". You might learn more from it than you have from all your formal education. This is important, I'll even buy it for you on DVD. Just send me an e-mail.

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